• Subject: Year 300 bug in ILE RPG or ...? (Again)
  • From: bvining@xxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 May 98 12:10:22 CDT

Dean,

I realize you're simply playing Devils Advocate here, and I am definitely
out of any area I can claim expertise in, but I can only think of two
methods that a historian/archeologist/etc. could use to determine a given
date out of the past.  One would be using a technology such as carbon
dating (or whatever is used these days), the second would be to find an
artifact with a date on it.

In the case of technology, I usually see dates that are plus or minus
a few ten/hundred/thousand/million years so I doubt many applications
will try to set a particular day within a year (and then have a
dependence on the accuracy of that date).

As for an artifact with a specific date on it, trying to record that
date using a Gregorian base would, I suspect, be more confusing than
helpful.  For instance, if I were to find a piece of paper dated March
19 622 I would actually (if using Gregorian) want to record the paper
as being written March 22 622 if I was interested in doing any type of
date calculations.  The reason is that the original date was written
under a Julian calendar and not the current Gregorian.  For that matter,
even more recently dated artifacts could cause "problems", such as
the discoverer would also need to know what the religious inclination
of the geography the paper was written in was, as not all people/states
converted to Gregorian at the same time (for instance Spain, Portugal,
Italy, and the Catholic states of Germany adopted Gregorian immediately;
but Protestant states of Germany waited until 1700; Sweden in 1753;
Great Britain (and colonies such as the U.S.) 1752; Russia 1918; Turkey
1927; etc.).  I should think that trying to use (and then explain) using
a datatype such as Date (with its implied accuracy) would not be a wise
thing to do for most dates older than a few hundred years (and even then
don't assume that the date is all that accurate from a duration point
of view).  I would just use good old (shudder) character fields for this
type of application, and especially if the dates significantly predate
Jan 1 0001 (Gregorian) (Jan 3 0001 Julian :-)).

Bruce Vining, as usual speaking just for myself

>
>Bruce,
>
>In a message dated 98-05-26 23:46:53 EDT, you write:
>
><<snip>>
>> Our testing does confirm your finding, that is that only the year 0300
>>  shows the incorrect conversion from the internal date format to the
>>  external format.  If you feel that this requires fixing due to year 300
>>  requirements you should pursue this through normal support channels.
>>
>>  Bruce Vining
>>
>>  PS - As the current Gregorian calendaring system went into effect back
>>  in 1582, it is always up to debate how to handle dates prior to Oct 15
>>  1582 anyway.
><<snip>>
>
>You've obviously had no experience with credit and collections ;-)!  Seriously
>though, it _could_ cause problems for people archiving archaelogical data on
>an AS/400.  Haven't heard of an application that does that, but _somebody's_
>got to play "Devil's Advocate"!
>
>Regards,
>
>Dean Asmussen
>

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